Most websites about individual engines are either because they were famous or are today preserved.

5028 was “Unsung” and is long gone, but she was well liked by the Great Western footplate men who drove and fired her. She worked mainly in the Newton Abbot & Laira Areas.

The following pages trace her story from “Birth” in 1934 to her untimely “Death” in 1960.

The Busiest Day Ever on British Railways Western Region

In post war 1950’s the South West became Britain’s foremost tourist area.  With the advent of paid holidays, over half of the visitors to the area came by rail. Most came and departed on Saturdays in six peak weeks in July and August.  These Summer Saturdays  on BR Western Region trains to Devon & Cornwall were “Manic”.  Lots of extra trains bringing holiday makers to the South West caused long delays in the bottleneck between Taunton and Newton Abbot. On those days

The chart above shows that 5028 double headed with 1015 County of Gloucester on the 11.10am Penzance to Wolverhampton train.

It was formed of 12 coaches and arrived, on time, at Plymouth 1.58pm, where 5028 (&1015) left the train.

The two engines are pictured right, leaving Penzance.

5028 would probably have then gone to Laira Sheds for coaling and watering.

Later she hauled the 3.40pm Perishables train (which originated in Penzance) from Plymouth to Paddington.  No time is stated for leaving Plymouth but she arrived at Newton Abbot at 9.05pm, 25 minutes late and gained 4 minutes there, leaving only 21 minutes late.

Goods trains were regularly “held up” to allow priority to passenger trains.  This one took over 5 hours from Penzance to Newton Abbot and probably arrived in London in the early hours of the next morning. The train consisted of eleven Vans, perhaps carrying broccoli.


passenger numbers increased 20 fold, to up to half a million!

Saturday 27th July 1957 was recorded as the busiest and most chaotic of them all!

On that day the number of passengers was probably twice what it will ever be again.

In 13 daylight hours 80 down trains arrived at Newton Abbot with an average of over 2 hours late.